Long tense

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Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. In the terminology of British grammarian Henry Sweet, a verb is said to have a long tense if it indicates a continuing or recurring action, e.g.,

They were sailing across the Atlantic.
I was living in London at the time.
He goes to Germany twice a year.

Such verbs are more commonly said to be in the continuous or progressive tense. (Since the tense of a verb strictly concerns the time of the action, some linguists prefer to say that these verbs show continuous or progressive aspect.)


  • Sweet, Henry (1900). A New English Grammar: Logical and Historical, Part I. Clarendon Press, Oxford.